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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

HISTORY    AND    HUMAN    RELATIONS

method I have been describing, technical science and
technical history may become like tightly woven screens,
all the threads of which are interlocking, all the meshes
drawn as close as possible, to cut the student off from
any outer light. And we must not exult too readily if
there seem to be some holes in the screen—we must not
say that this is something unaccounted for, so it must
be God—for the scientists if not the historians may
answer that with the acquisition of further knowledge
they count on closing up that particular kind of hole.
It is possible to hold that scientific explanation, though
a limited thing, can conceivably be an unbroken fabric
so far as it goes—in other words, can, within the limits,
be self-complete.

We might imagine ourselves locked in the system
that natural science and history fasten around us if there
were ^iot one glaring hole in the screen—a hole which
nobody can ever pretend to patch up. There is some-
thing which is closer to us, more intimate, more real,
more direct, than all the external evidence in the world.
The only thing in the universe which any of us can know
in any sense from the inside is a single personality—
namely, himself; and only from an internal knowledge
of ourselves can we begin to build up our impressions
of, other people. The primary judgment that any of us
makes, anterior to all philosophising and all scientific
endeavour, is a judgment that conditions all other
judgments—namely a judgment that we make about
ourselves. The historian, in this particular sense, does
not regard personality as a mere " thing ", to be studied
as other external things are studied. At this point, as

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